Zhejiang Mobile Validates NFV in its Journey to Telco Cloud Transformation

[Zhejiang, China, Nov 14] In December 13, 2016, Zhejiang Mobile, a branch of China Mobile announced the completion of its NFV project achieving all its validation targets. In this NFV project, Zhejiang Mobile has completed a comprehensive NFV feasibility validation based on a layered Telco Cloud architecture to support a variety of multi-vendor scenarios for services, network functions, integration and maintenance.

As the world's largest mobile communications operator, China Mobile is executing on its Communication 4.0 strategy as announced at the 2016 Huawei Operation Transformation Forum (OTF) held in Wuzhen. Communication 4.0 has four key pillars: agility, openness, software (virtualization) and ICT convergence. NFV and SDN are two major transformation technologies of China Mobile Communication 4.0 strategy.

China Mobile launched its NovoNet2020 vision as early as July 2015 that leverages on NFV, SDN and other new technologies to build a new generation of networks to meet the development needs of its digital services evolution.

Zhejiang Mobile, underpinned by its forward-looking approach to new technologies combined with its excellent service capabilities and innovative genes, undertook the China Mobile Group NFV evolution research and verification tasks. As the NFV pilot project implementation team, Zhejiang Mobile together with other China Mobile teams and partners carried out a series of comprehensive product, technical and solution verifications on the following aspects:

  • NFV services : VoLTE, "1 SIM 2 Numbers value-added services & new services such as NB-IOT (intelligent parking)
  • Telco Cloud Architecture : Multi-layer and multi-stack hierarchal DC-centric network architecture to support co-deployments of 20+ VNFs by 4 different vendors on single cloud platform with unified management and resource orchestration
  • System Integration: Multi-vendor PSI (Prime System Integrator) model involving 8 vendors to integrate 9 solution domains and 10 technical interfaces to drive multi-vendor interoperability, interworking and standardization.
  • Operation and maintenance system transformation : Explore the key metrics of operation / maintenance transformation including new KPIs/metrics, toolchains and process with closed loop feedback that enables rapid cross-layer fault correlation, self-scaling and self-healing.

The objective is to provide best practice guidance and direction to China Mobile Group for large-scale NFV evolution and commercialization. Upon realizing its first successful milestone, Zhejiang Mobile will continue to lead and work with partners to further explore the operation and maintenance system transformation for the construction of next generation OSS/BSS as well as preparation for pilot launches.

Zhang Qiumin, Assistant General Manager of Zhejiang mobile network management center share the Zhejiang mobile NFV project practice on the OTF 2016 Wuzhen China

As a special guest, Zhang Qiumin on behalf of Zhejiang Mobile NFV innovation project team shared the rich practice and exploration to the global mobile operators, analysts and the medias in the OTF, and also shared the experiences and suggestions in the process of Telco Cloud transformation:

  • Open Source:The mechanism of open source community software version update (such as OpenStack) cannot match requirements of the CT service, so there’s a need to establish a bug management mechanism of open source community software;
  • Specification:ETSI NFV standard is not mature, Operators need to develop specifications to guide the multi-vendor interoperability test so as to complete the industry standard;
  • Interoperability:Layer-decoupled scenario requires a role who is responsible for end to end system SLA guarantee, and issues management and resolution.

Nowadays, Zhejiang Mobile NFV project is still on the way, the next task is more complex, Zhejiang mobile network management center together with the relevant departments will continue to go forward to meet new challenges, and will continue to work with partners to jointly rich NFV eco-system and to explore road to Telco cloud.